Take a trip to some of the best Christmas markets

The authentic Christmas market originated in Germany, and is a centuries-old tradition. It dates back to a time where seasonal markets were held, Christmas markets were welcomed for a few days during the winter months and were a chance for villagers to get together on winter nights.

Today, countries around the world have adopted this tradition and put on their own ‘German themed’ markets throughout December. Boasting festive stalls, cosy stands selling Christmas goods and German cuisine, along with the popular German bars which offer Bavarian beer and mulled wine, they’re a hit with us in the UK.

Whether you’re looking to take a quick trip to Germany itself to experience a true Christmas market, or are looking to visit one of the many in the UK, we have some of the best markets worth a visit this December.

Bernkastel-Kues, Germany

This medieval town attracts many visitors and boasts narrows streets lined with 40 miniature half-timbered houses, lit up for the perfect Christmas setting. It is a world renowned wine growing region, so on your visit you’ll be able to make the most of wine tasting events at the market.

Don’t miss the first Saturday in December when around 100 swimmers will take part in the annual lightening event, they will plunge into the ice cold water of the Moselle with a burning torch in hand. They’ll swim up through the waters to Bernkastel following the bishop of St Nicolas. Once they arrive, St Nicolas hands out chocolates to all the children.

Also, each day at 5:30pm one of the advent doors is opened on the region’s largest advent calendar!

Dortmund Christmas Market, Germany

This is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, with over 300 market stalls situated around a huge Christmas tree – over 45 metres tall. Each day the Alter Market Theatre company put on either a puppet or a magic show to entertain the children.

The stalls offer crafts, decorations, authentic German toys, cuisine including sausages, grilled ham and roasted almonds, and let’s not forget hot mulled wine!

Manchester Christmas Market

This is the largest Christmas market in the UK and well worth a visit. It boasts over 200 stalls situated in little festive chalets. It is a fabulous place to shop and a boasts a huge variety of goods from around Europe. From gifts, crafts, jewellery and clothes to Dutch mini pancakes, Hungarian goulash Spanish paella and French profiteroles. This is a great place to indulge and do some Christmas shopping in December.

Cirencester Christmas Market

Not too far from Oxford is the market town of Cirencester, each year it boasts a number of Christmas events. If you’d like more of an authentic feel outside of the city with the beautiful backdrop of the village, ‘The capital of the Cotswolds’ is the place to visit. Like the German markets, Cirencester market boasts cute chalets lit up with Christmas lights, offering arts, crafts, and authentic cuisine. In addition to this there’s an ice rink that is great fun for the kids and adults!

This is ideal for a great day trip or weekend away. Whilst there, you can explore the Cotswolds or city of Oxford which are both close by. If you are looking for accommodation whilst there then why not take a look at the various hotels in Oxford that are available.